Friday, October 31, 2008

Stupid Wife?

Last night, I got home from work to find my husband sitting at the kitchen table on his laptop. Went up, put my arms around him from behind and kissed him on the cheek.

Then I caught sight of the screen.

There I was - in one of the Facebook pictures that caused this.

This picture was taken sometime last May. A Thursday night.

Had slept all afternoon and woken up feeling restless and depressed. K and I had had a fight earlier in the day because he didn't like something I said to his mother on the phone that apparently upset her.

First thing I did when I woke up was to call him. He wouldn't pick up. So I called his mother, had a short convo, apologized and casually asked her if K. was asleep. She said no, he was sitting out on the back porch smoking as she doesn't let him smoke in the house. Clearly unaware I'd already tried to call him several times, she said to go ahead and call him. I said ok, thanked her. And didn't try to call him again. I'd found out what I needed to know. He was awake and available and didn't want to speak to me.

Felt even worse. The depression turned into frustration and even more restlessness. Lying there, I had to sit up suddenly because I felt like I couldn't breathe lying down. I couldn't bear to be alone a second longer.

I got up, showered and changed in record time. Was already in the car when I started making calls to see where everybody was.

And so it was almost 11:30pm when I finally joined D. & F. at the club in Raha Beach. They were there with a big group of D.'s work colleagues. And it worked. The loud music, the dancing, the conversation - they helped me get out from inside my head. The claustrophobia and depression went away. I managed to forget about them for a little while.

Shortly after I arrived, I'd been standing with D. & F. telling them about how desperate I was for human company etc...We were practically shouting at each other to be heard over the loud music. And some guy behind me suddenly asked me to dance, using my name. I turned and he said he would be glad to offer me 'human company' all night. Clearly, he'd been listening in to our convo and caught both my name and that comment I made and interpreted it to mean I was some lonely woman out to pick up someone for the night or something.

I just couldn't be bothered to deal with that. So I just ignored him and walked off.

At about half past midnight, F. and her husband left. Then a little later, D. came to tell me that A. (her fiance and also my uncle) was coming to pick her up. She seemed to expect me to join them but:

1) Had sensed from earlier convo, those two needed to talk. Didn't feel like playing fifth wheel.
2) The last thing I needed that night was to be around a couple frankly. It would have just made me feel worse about not having my husband with me.
3) Had been there for less than an hour, wasn't sleepy and wasn't yet ready to face my empty apartment again either.

There was a bit of an argument when I told her to go ahead without me. She said A. would never let me stay on my own. And I knew she was right. After all, he is my uncle and he is an Arab and he definitely would not approve of my being out clubbing after midnight on my own with virtual strangers with my husband out of town. I asked if he knew I was with her. She said no. So I said fine, don't tell him and don't let him come inside. She tried to argue and I snapped at her about how just because she was going to marry my uncle, she shouldn't forget that she was my friend first and we always covered for each other. Or something stupid like that. Something she clearly didn't like because she walked off without another word.

Shortly after they left she smsed that since we WERE friends I should remember that she had to work with these people and they knew I was her friend and I should try not to embarrass her. I smsed back that I would try not to sleep with all of them before the night was out. That shut her up.

I'd managed to snap at my mother-in-law, have a screaming match with my husband and then alienate my best friend all in the same day. Terrific track record.

And so the only two people I really knew had left the party. But I am nothing if not a social butterfly. I managed to attach myself to three girls we'd been talking with earlier. We danced together, shared a greasy, bar-food meal when we got hungry and then went for a walk on the beach. They were nice girls. Quite a bit younger than me and heavy drinkers as you would expect but other than that, pretty nice and lots of fun. One of them spoke an amazing number of languages and was actually an incredibly interesting person to talk to even when drunk.

At around 3:00 am, when the club was getting ready to close, the girls told me there was going to be an after-party at somebody's place. There was some discussion within the group about whose house. I wasn't following because really what difference did it make? I didn't know anybody anyway.

Eventually, we left and headed to the after-party in what must have been 5 cars - including mine. None of the girls I was with drove - or was sober to drive even if she did have a car or a license - so I ended up the designated driver.

At the apartment, as soon as we walked in, the girls said they had to take off their shoes for a bit and have a smoke. I had pretty much the same needs by then. So the 4 of us sat on a couch, took off our shoes and put our feet up.

One of the guys had been running around all night with his camera. And he was suddenly infront of us, going on about how sexy we all looked and snapping pictures like crazy.

I didn't care. At that point, I'd decided I was going to finish my cigarette and leave. And I had no idea then how much pictures like that could come back to haunt you.

Then someone came up from behind me and placed something freezing cold on my right shoulder. I was in a slightly off-the-shoulder top so that really gave me a jolt. I turned my head to see the 'human company' guy from the club.

In the next instant, he was whispering in my ear something to the effect that as I was with 3 girls and not with a man so late in the evening, I clearly hadn't received a better offer than his so why don't I think about it?

I put out the cigarette, leaned down to put my shoes back on, got up, turned around, grabbed the glass out of his hand and threw as much of the contents on his smirking face as I could. Then I grabbed my bag and car keys and high-tailed it out of there.

I could hear him laughing from behind me as I walked out the door. I was standing waiting for the lift in the corridor outside when one of D.'s colleagues came after me, apologizing, asking me to come back (turns out he was the host), telling me he set that guy straight and he wouldn't bother me anymore, that the guy just didn't know who I was. I told him I appreciated the thought but that the last thing I wanted was for that idiot to find out who I was, that I just hoped I'd never have to see him again and that I was tired and needed to get home. He asked if I needed a lift home. I said no, I had my car with me. And that was that.

Fast-forward to last night. And that was the picture my husband was sitting there looking at.

Me sitting on the couch in the middle of 3 obviously very drunk girls, feet up, cigarette in hand, looking up at some guy who had his glass of something obviously very alcoholic on my bare right shoulder.

The whole thing could not have looked more sleazy if I had tried. And I have never felt more embarrassed in my life. I wanted to DIE.

Of course, we had talked about the whole partying and Facebook pics before. And we'd more or less cleared it. But he'd been overseas then. This was the first time I actually got a look at what he'd seen and what he'd been reacting to.

I let go and sat down on a chair next to him. I didn't know what to say.

Me: 7abibi, I am sorry you had to see this.

Him: Sorry why? I think you look pretty hot. I mean, I have no questions why this a****** would pick my very stupid wife out of all these women. I'm a lucky man. This is a great picture of you. You must be very proud of it.

There it was. The tone of voice that makes me feel like I'm something that just crawled out from under the rug. I never realized being told you're 'hot' could sound so insulting.

And no, telling myself I probably deserve it didn't help much. It still hurt like hell.

He slams the laptop shut, gets up, I see him grab his car keys.

Me: You're going out?

He doesn't answer. Just slams out of the house.

I suddenly felt so tired. Sometimes my marriage is such hard work. I went straight to bed, without even changing - and amazingly enough - I fell asleep.

I don't know how late it was when he finally made it home. I woke when he got into bed, next to me. Right away, I could smell the alcohol. First time since he came back. I didn't like it but it wasn't a good time to bring that up so I kept my mouth shut.

Me: Thanks for calling me stupid.

No answer.

Me: K, I've never even seen that picture before.
Him: But you must remember when it was taken. You didn't have a blackout, did you?
Me: K, if one of us is a drinker, it's not me. And you know it.
Him: Oh so because I drink, I should just shut up right?
Me: I didn't say that. We're talking about something that happened months ago. And we've already talked about it. And I've said am sorry over and over again. And I've done everything you asked me to do since. I really don't know what more I can do to make it up to you.

No answer.

Me: Do you have any ideas? What more can I do? Or am I just going to keep getting punished all over again everytime you come across a picture somewhere?

No answer.

Me: Did you hear me? I'm talking to you.
Him: Who is he?
Me: What? Who?

No answer.

Me: K, I don't know who he is. Some drunk guy at a party.
Him: Some drunk guy at a party.
Me: Yes, that's what I said.

More silence.

Me: Are you asleep?

He was.

I didn't get much sleep after that. And when I got up pretty late this morning he wasn't home. He's still out and I don't know where he is because he's not answering my calls.

Sounds kind of like the beginning of this story doesn't it? Like the night I went to that party in the first place.

We had plans for last night btw. We were supposed to meet with some friends for dinner at a really nice new outdoor venue. So far this morning, I've had to suffer at least two calls from people telling me how much we were missed and how much fun they had and how sorry they were that we couldn't make it.

Great, just what I needed to hear.

Right now I am starving. I haven't had anything to eat since lunchtime at work yesterday. Lunch then was a club sandwich. Not nearly enough for me and the baby.

With the reception when I got home from work, I forgot all about dinner. I wonder if He had dinner while he was out getting drunk.

I wonder why I am not more upset this morning. This is not exactly the weekend I had planned.

Something has upset him and so now he's going to give me a hard time for a few days. He's mad at me for not being circumspect but mostly he's mad at himself for not being here and somehow taking better care of me so no other man would dare to even think about trying anything.

We've talked about this before. I told him I'd rather take responsibility for not being more careful and promise to behave better than have him think he is somehow duty-bound to protect me at all times. I've explained that men come on to women in that street, in the office, at the grocery store, not just at parties and that he simply can't take it upon himself to be responsible for my never getting harrassed 24/7, that it's much more practical for him to trust me to get myself out of these situations when they arise - which I do usually, as evidenced by the fact that I have managed to get this far in life without getting myself seduced or raped or whatever.

Nothing I try to say or do will make any difference though so I might as well not bother. He will calm down in his own sweet time and things will get better only when he's good and ready. Blah, blah, blah. Been there, done that sooooooo many times.

I have an appointment for another scan tomorrow. He wouldn't miss that. It wouldn't fit in with his self-declared role of Responsible Husband of The Year not to be there. So I'll see him then for sure. And he will have to be civil to me infront of the doctor.

Then who knows? We will have to see. Am actually more worried about the drinking now. That really can't go on.


Monday, October 27, 2008


Me: So you're really staying?

Him(smiling): You ask me that everyday.

Me: Well?

Him: The answer is that's the plan. Unless something happens.

Me: Inshallah khair.

Him: Ameen.

Me: Thanks for sharing your plans.

He gives me a look and chooses not to answer. I really can't help what came out next.

Me: K?

Him: Aiwa?

Me: I don't believe you.

Him: Eh da mish momkin. Ya sheikha 2ooly kalam ghair da.

Me: I should have known you'd just make fun.

Him: Ma ana 3arif in inti mish bitsada2i(I knew you wouldn't believe it). 3ashan kida ba2alik kteer btisa'ali wi ba2ali kteer mish 3ayez arod 3laiki(That's why I didn't want to answer). Mish 3arif assassan btisa'ali leh winti mitgawiza wa7id kadab belshakl da (I don't know why you bother to ask when you're married to such a liar).

Me : La ya K. Am not calling you a liar.

Him: 7ilw 2wi(Good). Motashakireen ya sitti(Thanks). 7aith kida ba2a lama a2oolik ini hafdal gambik tisada2ini(So you should believe me). Wi tseebik ba2a min film elro3b illy inti mish btizha2i mino da(and stop living in fear).

Me: I don't think you mean to lie to me. But like you said, you have plans. You always do. You're not so great at sharing them, though. If things change, you will make new plans and there's no reason for me to think I'll get a vote then. I mean, I didn't get a vote when you decided to leave. Or when you decided to come back. Like you've been saying these past few days, you'll stay as long as you want to. And I don't know how long that is. It's scary to feel I have no control over my own life like that. Especially now.

Him: Yah danti shayla mini 2wi.(Wow you've really been holding grudges)

Me (tearing up): Am not just trying to be selfish or to get my own way or whatever. I just really don't think I get along too well without you, K.

I hear him muttering what sounds like a curse. And I think, great, I've ruined yet attempt at a real convo by turning on the waterworks, which he hates. But when I look up he's holding out his arms. I go over and he pulls me down on his lap, holding me tight. I manage to stop crying.

He doesn't say anything. Really doesn't say much of very much, does my husband.

Me: Do you always have to do what you want?

Him: What I want, L, what I always wanted, was to be with you. That's what I wanted. We both wanted the same thing. Why can't you see that? The conflict was between what we both wanted and what I thought was right.

Me: So you think it's wrong for you to be here now?

Him: Not exactly. You're my wife, you're pregnant. Inti kaman liki 7a2ik wana mish 3ayiz afdal azlimik ma3aya aktar min kida. But my parents need help and N (his sis) is so flaky sometimes. It's not a good situation. But hey, I can't be in 2 countries at the same time. We just have to make the best of things and hope we won't be stuck here too long. Wi rabina yostor.

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Friday, October 24, 2008


This morning I opened my eyes just in time to see him open his eyes. We woke up together, literally. Almost.

I can't believe he's here.

I can't stop saying that to him.

Now it's almost 2:00 am. He just fell asleep. And I am sitting here torn between waking him up so he can eat the sandwiches he said he wanted and then fell asleep in the time it took me to make - and just watching him sleep. I can't decide which I want to do more and it actually hurts that I can't do both.

It's been so long since I've had options like that.

Two pillars of my existence these days: that he's here and that am pregnant. And it's like I have to state both facts for myself a hundred times everyday for fear that all of a sudden through some unseen twist of fate they would both cease to be true. After all, for years, they were not and I'd gotten used to that I guess.

I am afraid, yes.

I am afraid.

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Week 15 etc....

And I am back to not feeling pregnant at all. Infact I feel great. Not that they're mutually exclusive or anything. What I mean is that the nausea attacks are gone. I am eating well again. I am feeling much less bloated. Even the swelling and pain in my chest area seems to have gone down. It reminds me of when I've just finished my period, when you feel lighter and healthier with this sense of freedom because all the PMS is gone.

Would be lying if I said I didn't worry that the disappearance of the symptoms might somehow mean I've lost the baby without noticing or something or the whole thing was some sort of mistake or fake pregnancy. I know it's crazy but I did actually take a couple of pregnancy tests just to make sure.

I don't know exactly how to explain the disappearance of the symptoms. It could be the end of Ramadan with the effects of my two weeks of fasting wearing off? Or it could be the effect of having regular sex after a long period of abstinence? I noticed that after my marriage the worst of my PMS symptoms disappeared. For one thing, the cramps were gone. So yeah, regular sex does seem to help balance my hormones or something.

Still not showing. Does anyone know at what point exactly you're supposed to go shopping for maternity clothes? Last night, we were out with my uncle & aunt & two cousins and everyone commented on the fact that I didn't appear to be gaining weight/looking pregnant at all. They said it like it's a good thing but really it's not what I wanted to hear. As time passes and people keep saying I don't look pregnant, it just makes me nervous that something is wrong.

Then my aunt said that I shouldn't be in my skinny jeans, that tight clothing wasn't good for pregnant women.

I tend to just follow that sort of advice. I mean, whether it is valid or not, why take chances? So no more tight pants. Today I went shopping for some long dresses and skirts. I can't wear short skirts because the only symptom that does seem to have survived is the varicose-vein-like discoloration on my legs which tends to appear suddenly without warning and is very unsightly. I noticed they appear when I am on my feet for a long time - like at work - especially in high heels. They seem to disappear when I put my legs up for a while. So I am hopeful that they won't be permanent.

I get to put my feet up a lot more now because with my husband here, he's taken over a lot of the errands and the packing and the household chores so now I don't really have much to do apart from go to work.

It's not exactly shopping for maternity clothes but at least I got to buy something to wear BECAUSE of my pregnancy so it is close.

And I won't be having any Morrocan baths or scrubbing myself too hard in the shower either.

It's only a few months so why take chances? I can worry about fashion and beauty again after the baby is born.

As far as the state of the marriage, I am reminded again and again of the benefits of physical proximity. When stuck together in the same living quarters, there's really a limit to how long you can stay mad at each other. You get to a point where neither one of you can stand the tension anymore. And you reach that point much faster when living together than when you're on different continents.

In our case, I can tell we are reaching that point when our marriage is a comedy show again. My husband is at his funniest when he's coming out of a fit of fury. It's his way of reaching out without having one of those serious 'about us' conversations he hates so much. Or simply apologizing if he thinks he's been wrong about some things.

And me? Well, I'd rather have him trying to make me laugh all the time, than mad at me, hands down. Besides, it is much more fun. I do love to laugh.

Of course, after the comedy show phase, where we generally act like two people who just met and are trying to out-charm, out-flirt, out-joke and out-impress each other, there comes a point where we're forced to confront the fact that we are not, infact, out on an extended first date, that we've been together for a while and there's a lot of history there and quite a few unresolved feelings on both sides about various events in said history.

This second phase usually begins when we both suddenly start awkwardly falling all over ourselves to deny ever having been mad about anything EVER, in response to everyday occurences that somehow point to causes of past dispute. This is sometimes even more hilarious - and stupid - than Phase One.

Phase Three is the point at which we finally sit down like adults and address the issues that might have caused the rift in the first place. This phase can really go anyway. Sometimes it goes really badly and results in a new rift. Sometimes it goes really well in terms of communicating and resolving things usually, because the passing of time has made the original rift insignificant and therefore easy to discuss. Some wounds are healed by nothing as well as time. And sometimes, well, we just skip this phase altogether and move on. We just forget.

At the moment I'd say we are definitely in Phase One of our Conflict Resolution Manual - which is fun.

Physical proximity has also helped me see something that is making me even happier. My husband's professed lack of interest in becoming a father is nowhere as absolute as it looked. He IS excited and pleased.

I can see it on his face when he is talking - and asking questions - about parenthood to other people and he forgets that he's not supposed to let me get away easily with getting pregnant more or less without his consent and not according to schedule. The other people concerned are anyone from the doctor, our parents, my friends, his friends etc...He just can't hide his excitement and curiosity when he's not talking to me directly. Which I would never have seen if he had still been overseas and we were only talking on the phone.

I can also see - when he lets his guard down and forgets to pretend otherwise - that the whole jealousy thing doesn't go very deep. It is just easier for him to justify being here - and not with his parents - to himself if I am somehow an urgent problem. He doesn't want to admit that he's here because, I dunno, he might have missed me - or because I finally wore him down with all the nagging, or even because taking on the crisis in his family on his own without complaint for so long is an emotional burden he might just need a break from. I guess it's just more macho to tell himself he did it because I was getting out of control.

I could wish I had married someone who was less hung up on being tough/cool/macho/in-control-of-every-situation - and more at peace with the fact that he does have feelings and weaknesses like the rest of us. It might make a lot of things easier and save us both a lot time and energy.

Or I could remember way back when we were still getting to know each other, I found this side of him so refreshing and so sincere. If only because I had had enough of selfish, irresponsible men who know how to act sensitive and caring when they aren't and who would say sentimental and romantic things they didn't really feel and probably say to every other girl they happened to be two-timing you with because they know girls like it. Then I met K, who seems to be the other extreme, who shows he cares only by action and is so uncomfortable with words, who never seems to want you to give him credit for the nice things he does for you because it embarrasses him to even have them acknowledged. He is unlike anyone else I ever met in that he seems to prefer to present himself in a worse light, to look worse rather than better than he really is, because he somehow believes he has to look tough and macho 24/7.

And I thought then, this is the real thing, this is someone who is solid, who respects his commitments, who may not buy me flowers or write me poems but would do anything for me, would always be there for me, this is someone I can trust and feel safe with.

Except, of course, just like a woman, I also thought that - with time - I could change him. Famous last words.:)

I don't think I have changed him much, or that I have succeeded in softening the hard edges or making him as verbal, as forthcoming with emotion and sentiment as I am. Not yet anyway. But I still love him, the solid core, his strength, his generosity, his loyalty, his optimism and sense of humor even when things seem hopeless, the willingness to put others before himself and this ability he seems to have to know me at my worst and still have the best expectations of me.

Maybe parenthood will finally change him? I wonder if he will be the same with our kids as he is with me and with everyone else? I mean children can't be expected to read between the lines. They need to have things spelt out for them. They need to be encouraged and told you love them. So maybe he will have to change then? We shall see.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Christians flee Iraqi city rather than convert

I thought I've seen it all. I thought I was way beyond actually feeling anything in response to news because bad news in our tortured part of the world just keep on coming, don't they? You'd think one would be immune by now. But every now and then something will really get to you. Something like this.

Al Qaeda extremists have apparently succeeded in forcing 900 Iraqi Christians to flee Mosul in fear of their lives, after murdering 13 of them. 13 people dead. For not converting and not paying Jizya.

I am so depressed. Not because I am offended as a Muslim that these extremists have 'hijacked' my religion. That is such a cliche. First of all, frankly I don't identify with these people enough to feel offended in that way. Their faith - if one may call it that - has so little in common with mine that it just feels completely alien even if our two belief systems do share a name.

And second, offended as a Muslim? There's 'no offended as a' here. This pattern of behavior is offensive, period. To everyone. To everything. It's more than offensive. It is heartbreaking and absolutely terrifying.

No, what I find depressing is the the tenacity of these extremists. Why won't they go away? Why won't they just drop dead? After 9/11 and London and Madrid, after everything they've so far managed to bring on Iraq and Afghanistan and countless other countries. After all the wars and all the destruction and all the vows by world leaders to put an end to this, why do they still survive? What will it take to get rid of them?

I just can't stand it that such people exist and breathe. People who would kill others in cold blood and displace a tiny, defenceless, ancient community and actually think they have a RIGHT to do it. I mean, these people are not ordinary criminals. At least criminals know they're criminals. No, these zombies actually believe they're being holy and righteous when they do things like that. They believe they're better than the rest of us. They believe that God is smiling on their murders. That God actually creates people for them to kill. And that is so offensive.

How must those Iraqi Christians feel? What would it be like to be so hated by people you've never done any harm to just who believe God wants them to hate you and kill you?

I've had brushes with that type of mentality of course. Those fanatics who didn't necessarily approve of my lifestyle or my version of Islam and make it clear how much they hated me, occasionally pronouncing judgement on my life as an apostate if I don't repent.

But I've never been unfortunate enough to be part of a helpless minority under their power. I've always faced them from a position where I felt safe. A position where I could laugh at their irrational rage and dismiss them and tell them how pathetic I thought they were.

Now I feel guilty for having laughed. This is not funny. It's not funny for people who have no protection from it. And it's not pathetic. These people deserve no pity because they clearly have none for the rest of us.

I still believe they're nihilists who have no future. That they're a passing wave that cannot and will not survive because as an ideology they have nothing to offer but death and destruction. They offer no solutions, no hope, no vision for the future.

But how much more damage will they do before we're finally rid of them? Everytime I think ok, this wave is starting to recede, there's light at the end of the tunnel, there they are in the news doing something like this and GETTING AWAY WITH IT.

I guess I just have to pray. I mean, what else is there to do?


Thursday, October 09, 2008

Now What?

So last week my uncle A - now married to my best friend D - had to go out of town on business. Since that left both of us on our own, D ended up more or less staying with me. We'd go out together after work then go back to my place and stay up late talking or packing or cooking or trying on clothes & make up, just basic girl stuff. And then she'd be too tired to go home and well, I do have plenty of spare beds. In the morning she'd borrow something to wear to work from me.

The whole working week went by like that. I thought it was really cool. Me and her haven't had the chance to spend quality time like that with each other in ages because we both had a lot going on in our lives & stuff. It made me feel about 15 years younger. And let's face it, I hate living alone. Always have and always will.

Friday morning, we suddenly decided to spend the day in Dubai, just for old times sake. We followed our time-honored tradition of spa in the daytime. We had Morrocan baths, facials, manicures and pedicures (with hot parafin). In the evening, we had our hair cut (trimmed in my case) and blowdried. Afterwards, we went shopping in Festival City, had free professional make-overs in Paris Gallery (not completely free because I ended up getting the foundation they used on me). Finally we went for a photo shoot - just to document the hair & make up for future reference.

Afterwards, we debated whether to eat something in Festival City, decided we weren't hungry and so we had ice cream and headed back to Abu Dhabi.

It was about 11:00 pm when we got there. D said that she missed her own place and wearing her own clothes so why don't I stay with her for a change? I said fine.

We didn't go to bed right away though. We went through our shopping, then ordered take out. After we ate, she fell asleep.

Up until that point, it had been a great day.

Then it started to go downhill from there.

I couldn't sleep. I got up, walked around their apartment, stood and stared out of the window, tried to watch TV. But I couldn't settle down to anything. I was feeling overwhelmingly hot, restless and claustrophobic.

At around 1:30 am, I started to feel nauseaous. For the first time since I found out I was pregnant, I threw up like there was no tomorrow. So much that I was completely exhausted afterwards. And thirsty.

I had a glass of canned fruit juice that I found in the fridge and it seemed to help.

D - who is a notoriously heavy sleeper - never woke up. And suddenly, I just wanted to go home. I didn't have my car with me. We'd decided to take her car to Dubai. And so I ended up taking a cab home.

In the lift on the way up to my apartment, I looked at my watch. It was just turning 3:00 am. At that point, all I wanted was to get home, have a shower and get to bed.

I walked in, switched on the lights. And in the living room, sitting in an armchair facing the front door, was my husband.

I couldn't see him very clearly because the lights in the living room were off but it was him alright. I had no fear of an intruder breaking in to sit in my living room - in the dark.

For a second in there, I wondered if he was asleep. He was so still.

Negative again, he was awake. I was being watched. I could feel his eyes on me.

I walked into the living room & switched on the lights.

He didn't move, just kept staring at me. I asked him how long he'd been there? He said he didn't know. So I asked why he didn't call me. He said he wanted to wait & see when I would come home.

And I lost my temper. That he would come home and just sit there and not tell me. That he would waste time we didn't have. For all I knew he could have been there all day. I'd been in Dubai all day.

And then when called on it, that he could just sit there like nothing happened and give me smart answers?

I was suddenly too angry to look at him anymore. I just turned and walked off into the bedroom, figuring that if he didn't care about spending time with me I didn't care either. I was just going to get on with my life like he wasn't even there.

Still furious, I was in the bathroom, removing my contacts and the make up, when he came in and stood behind me. I ignored him. But I was so angry my hands were shaking and I slammed my bottle of make-up remover so hard on the counter I could hear the bottom crack.

He said so that must have been some party. Or something stupid like that. And it hit me that he was angry because he thought I'd been out partying. After I promised so many times to stop that.

The make up and the hair would have made it look like that. Not to mention the coming home at 3:00am.

It was my cue to explain. But I was still angry and decided he didn't deserve an explanation. So I continued to ignore him. He stood there watching me for a second then he went out of the bathroom. A few seconds later, I heard the TV in the living room.

Somehow it made me even angrier that he could watch TV at a time like that. I slammed the bathroom door shut as hard as I could and locked it. Then I had my shower.

The shower calmed me down a bit. I was able to get into bed. I lay there in the dark, fuming. The more I thought of him sitting here, waiting for me, setting some kind of trap, the angrier I got. It was cold and manipulative and I couldn't see how he could have done something like that if he missed me half as much as I missed him.

Eventually, of course, I was crying. I thought of how happy, how excited I would have been if I had known he was coming, how I would have dropped everything to come rushing home to him.I thought of how hard it is sometimes to just get out of bed in the morning and get through the day without him. I just felt so sorry for myself.

I was hurt & humiliated and depressed.

I could still hear the TV.

I don't know how long it was before he finally came to bed. To me, it felt like I'd been in there crying for hours but it couldn't have been that long because it was still dark outside.

I turned on my side so my back was to his side of the bed. I could hear him behind me, undressing and then getting into bed. He said stop crying.

I didn't like the tone of voice. I didn't say anything.

Him: So where were you?
Me: K, why are you here?
Him: To see you.
Me: Right. Is that why you can't bring yourself to even touch me?
Him: Do you want to be touched? I'm not picking up any signals.
Me: I'm angry. But I'm your wife. And it's been months.
Him: You're angry? Why are you angry?

Which made me even angrier if at all possible. That he would ask. That he couldn't see why I might be angry. So I told him to forget it, that I was exhausted and had to get some sleep.

And I did go to sleep.

When I got up, it was noon on Saturday. He was still sleeping. I got up, used the bathroom, making sure all the time that I didn't wake him, putting off having to deal with anything as long as I could.

On the way to the kitchen, I caught sight of his luggage in the hallway. And I had a moment of panic. How long was he staying this time? All of a sudden I couldn't bear the thought that we'd wasted a whole night barely speaking to each other or that he might leave on the terms we were on.

In tears again, I grabbed his suitcase. A big one. Not the overnight bag and backpack he'd brought last time. I tried the combination number we use for all our luggage and it worked. Suffice it to say, there was enough stuff in there to convince me that he was here for a long visit.

Relieved, I dragged his suitcase into the bedroom, threw it open and started unpacking for him. Not caring about waking him this time. Wanting to wake him. It felt so good to be putting his clothes back in the closet where they used to be.

When I saw him open his eyes in the mirror I started talking, telling him what he wanted to know. When he got out of bed and came to take me in his arms, I said no wait. I couldn't stop unpacking his stuff. All of a sudden it was compulsive. I must have been hysterical at that point because all I could think was that everything would be alright if only I could get all his stuff in the closet and get the emptied suitcase out of my sight.

He looked confused for a bit then he left me to it and went into the bathroom. I guess he must have thought I was still mad at him. I finished unpacking and took the suitcase into the spare bedroom & locked it into one of the overhead storage spaces there.

Next I went into the kitchen to make something for us to eat. He came into the kitchen and said we have to talk. Still in the middle of cooking, I said I was listening.

Him: I should have let you know I was coming.
Me : Why didn't you?
Him: I just don't know anything about your life anymore.
Me : Well, I know even less about your life, K.
Him: I know.
Me : And I still trust you.
Him: What does that even mean anymore?
Me : It means I wouldn't do what you did yesterday.
Him: Ana asif. (I'm sorry)

I was so frustrated. With my husband, an apology is his way of closing the subject. Whatever I say after that he'll just repeat I'm sorry like a broken record. And if I push it he'll blow his top and say I said I was sorry what more do I have to do and it will just turn into one of our famous screaming matches.

He's been here for a week now. Things haven't improved much. We can't seem to stop snapping at each other.

He is tense all the time. And he does things like be openly ungracious to people he decides he doesn't like around me because they had me on their Facebook or sth.

Everyday he seems to come up with something new to piss me off. I don't know what's on his mind or what he is pushing for. So am just trying to get on with my life as usual. If the complaint is that he doesn't know enough about my life then ok, I'm letting him find out. The kind of mood he's in he's not exactly making me proud with his charm and social skills but well he IS my husband for better or for worse and so I guess my friends just have to cope with him.

Last night we had sex. For the first time since he arrived. He hasn't wanted to do it before because he's been worried it would damage me or the baby. That I understand and even appreciate. What I don't appreciate is that following a seperation of 4 months, we're back at that place we sometimes end up in where we only acknowledge each other's physical existence or approach each other physically for sex.

It's kind of like having a series of one-night stands except they're all with the same guy. Seriously. That's how cold it feels.

Now that we've checked with the doctor and everything I expect it will happen again. But the kind of relationship we have, sex is really not much of an indicator as our sex life seems to exist on a seperate plane from the rest of our relationship. I mean, we don't even have to be on speaking terms to be sleeping together regularly.

It's strange how easily you can do it - and even enjoy it to an extent - with someone you're mad at who you know is mad at you. How long is it going to be like this? I have no idea. As long as he wants I guess. The ball is definitely in his court on this one. I don't have the guts to even try and get romantic or sentimental with someone who is so unapproachable. I just take what I can get and draw on past experience to believe this will pass and things will go back to normal. After all he can't be enjoying this either so he can't keep it up forever. At some point he will decide he's punished me and himself enough and we both need more than what we currently have.

I don't know how long he's staying because everytime I ask he says something to the effect that it's his house and I'm his wife and he can stay as long as he wants.

I've tried speaking to his mother. And he hasn't told her anything either. His younger sister is taking a semester off from college and is staying with her parents so his parents are not on their own. If K is relying on her to take over responsibility for their parents then his stay could be indefinite. He could be here until my visa comes through and we can leave together.

Knowing his opinion of his sister's reliability though, I don't know how long he could take that.

And I should be ashamed of this but despite all of the above I'm glad he's here. I'm not even that upset that he seems to have turned into this jealous maniac who wants to be informed about every breath I take when not in his company. I pushed for this. By acting up, by being provocative, by hiding things and then springing them on him, I wanted to worry him enough to make him back. I wanted him to be less sure of me, to not just take me for granted. And I guess it worked. Finally. He is here with me -even if he's barely speaking to me. I do have all his attention. More attention than I can handle if he keeps this up.

All things considered, for now, am just glad we're back together again.So glad I can't really care why.

The question is, now what?